Monday, 28 July 2014

The Breakdancers

Breakdancing buskers are getting younger.  The bigger of the two boys had drawn a bit of a crowd to his very polished act.  So inspired was he that a wee lad from the crowd wandered over to mimic the steps.  The older boy danced his way over to the younger to show him the moves.  All without a word being spoken.  

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Ted goes Stateside

I recently popped across the ditch to visit friends of mine in the US who shall remain nameless (Barack and Hilary). Our meeting place was the Hamptons on Long Island. It has long been the home of the rich, and the carefree, and then there are my friends who live there as well. Long island is a lovely place in summer, it’s green and rural, surrounded by warm blue sea, beautiful white beaches, with an abundance of wildlife, market gardens, and vineyards.  It’s a wonderfully relaxing place to live, especially after the hustle and yes more hustle of Noo Yark city.

I got to absorb myself in what is essentially village life in a series of little villages.  I went to a country fair in the main street of Mattituck (called believe it or not “Love Lane”).  A particular food fair favourite is … Zeppoles.  They are little puffed triangles of deep fried sweet dough covered in a lot of icing sugar (they may have been brought to America by the Scottish).

My friends had a whole programme planned out for me.  Yes there would be lots of eating and drinking, but there would also be exercise to earn it. Including sailing, walking up hills in the hot sun, and a trip to the beach, by boat naturally.  Deposited on our own little white sand spot where we could sit under an umbrella and sip ice cold rose (are you jealous yet …) and watch the water sports of the Hampton dwellers.  Look at this – do not try this at home … even if you live in the Hamptons.  The woman in this picture was a one time world paddle board judo champion … apparently.

We visited vineyards and craft breweries, all immensely proud of their offerings. The local produce was fabulous and my friends all  laid on some really great meals. I went to one of the farm stores where I met Bob the elderly owner and he made me (ok I didn’t resist much) eat an ear of raw corn that had just been picked two hours earlier.  It was divine, and instantly transported me back to my childhood. If I could get corn like that here in London, I would never cook it ever again. 

Ah …  how much richer we are for having good friends.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Rake to Rebel

"A champion of English freedom" reads the inscription on this monument to John Wilkes.  As a young man he had  a reputation as a rake (a bit of a lad about town) but at the age of 30 he put his energies into being a politician albeit with (for the time) rather radical views.

He campaigned to have parliamentary speeches published in full and introduced the first bill to reform parliament.  During the American War of Independence he supported the American rebels.

Friday, 25 July 2014


Cranes surround many of the old buildings in the city of London with new towers filling every inch of the square mile.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Community Garden

It may be a very small garden but it has brought a community together.  Several houses in this street donated the plants and tend to its upkeep.  It brings a smile to my face when I pass by.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Guns and Roses

Enjoying the sun in the park like grounds of the Imperial War Museum.  Inside you may like to take a look at the new first world war galleries.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Not Just Any Bus Stop

It looks like an other bus top in London, but take a closer look.  The entire bus shelter is made of lego!  It's not just decorative, but is a real working bus stop serving 9 different routes.

Made of more than 100,000 lego bricks it was created as part of TFL's (Transport for London) celebration of the year of the bus.        

Monday, 21 July 2014

Summer Streets

Chill out in Regent St and enjoy the summer festival.  Traffic is banned for the weekends throughout July so expect garden parties, fashion shows, music and loads of other activities rather than buses and cabs.  This sure beats the usual congestion and fumes.  I vote for making this permanent.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Ted takes the high road ...

The Doll and I went to the Highlands in Scotland once.  The Doll had seen a satellite map of it and said there were only two roads, so how could we possibly get lost? I don’t really need to tell you what happened do I. However, the first rule of “Doll travel” is that you are never lost, you are simply on an “unscheduled adventure”. Scotland and adventure called again, and we went with two fellow adventurers who shall remain nameless (Gill and David) to a Scottish pop-up restaurant called Struie Road .... in London.

Struie Road is a collaboration between Andrew of the Wild Game Co in the Highlands and Workshop Coffee in Clerkenwell.  It pops up one Friday night a month, and all the food is sourced from Scotland naturally, with the game coming from Andrew’s Wild Game Co. We arrived and were shown upstairs (to the high road) where we met the Highlander himself, Andrew, decked out in his Scottish finery. Tartan skirt (oh alright .. kilt) with new sporran, and wearing his granddad's vintage vest. I was hoping to try some gorse wine, but there was none, so I had to settle for whisky instead.

We kicked off with sourdough bread with a pine and chipotle infused honey butter.  It might sound a little weird but it was absolutely delicious.  Next came a trio of dishes from the sea; north atlantic crispy prawns, cold oak smoked salmon, and dressed crab (fortunately not dressed like Andrew). Highland beef ribs and rock oysters were a standout with a green chilli and lime dressing.  We had a wee palate cleanser of Gin & Tonic granita in preparation for the wild stuff to come.

Onto the wild Roe Deer fillet, cooked to perfection, with accompanying greens of sea aster, sea plantain, and sea spaghetti.  A whizz over to the Mull of Kintyre (which was famous before Paul McCartney sang about it) for some cheddar cheese. Hokey Pokey shards to close … the Doll was moved to point out that it was really like hokey pokey fudge "ish" and Andrew said he’d report that back to his New Zealand (home of hokey pokey) girlfriend.

Take the high road if you possibly can … it’s back in London in September. 

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Read a Good Book

They are fun these bench sculptures in the summer city books about town.  I hope you are enjoying seeing them as much as I am finding them.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Summer Strumming

London is promising a very musical summer.  We have the "play me pianos" scattered around the city and now we have the "rock the boat" guitars.  Twelve upturned boats are scattered around the city with acoustic guitars attached inside.  There is also a book of boating songs and sea shanties to help you free the artistic you.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Dead Parrot

Do you remember the Monty Python parrot sketch?  Here is an extract where the pet store owner finally loses patience with the parrot owner who is trying to return the dead bird, claiming it is still alive:

'E's not pinin'! 'E's passed on! This parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! 'E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker! 'E's a stiff! Bereft of life, 'e rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed 'im to the perch 'e'd be pushing up the daisies! 'Is metabolic processes are now 'istory! 'E's off the twig! 'E's kicked the bucket, 'e's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible!! THIS IS AN EX-PARROT!!

The dead parrot lying in Potter's Field near Tower Bridge, is part of an advertising campaign for the UKTV screening of final performance of the Monty Python Live farewell show this coming Sunday.

Monday, 14 July 2014

The Fans House

The bunting is still supporting the English but did they cheer for the German team last night?